Yesterday I blogged about Aunt Doris & Grandma Dawn. Today’s post is about Aunt Doris.
Have fun. Be silly. Laugh. Love.
Aunt Doris was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 - the same year I received my master’s degree and the first year my now ex-boyfriend and I lived together while he attended graduate school. I was hired by a non-profit company 4 months after receiving my degree; I was happy to have an adult job. I was fired 6 weeks later. At first I was sad about not having a job, but I soon realized that once again, everything happens for a reason. Less than 2 weeks after I was fired, Aunt Doris’s cancer treatments were scheduled to begin.
Aunt Doris stayed at a facility for patients battling cancer, called Hope Lodge, while she received chemo and radiation treatments. She had to have someone accompany her to her appointments throughout the day. Her daughter was Aunt Doris’s caretaker, but she had to work during the day. With me being unemployed and in the same city, it only made sense for me to be with Aunt Doris while her daughter was working. For the next three months, I spent Monday through Friday with Aunt Doris while she was receiving her chemo and radiation treatments. I was fortunate to meet some amazing people during this time; people who were battling cancer, people who were caretakers of those battling cancers, and people who volunteered their time to assist others.
For Aunt Doris, each day was a blessing to be alive. She would always find something to joke or laugh about. She would not complain. The most she would say is that she needed to catch her breath while we were walking or something minor like that. It would be days when she’d be sooooo weak, but she wouldn’t show it. I admired her strength. She would even frown at me for asking or telling the doctor something about her health. Lol. One day Aunt Doris decided to wear her cheetah print robe to a doctor’s appointment. I don’t remember what we were joking about that day, but I remember she kept looking up at me, smiling and laughing. She was so bubbly that day; she even smiled for the camera when I pulled out my phone. I was hired to work at the suicide hotline crisis center 4 weeks before Aunt Doris’s treatments ended. I was put on 3rd shift. I was still able to be with Aunt Doris during the day; it was great. Aunt Doris returned to Engelhard after her treatments ended and her cancer went into remission.
Fast forward to 2019, Aunt Doris became ill again and passed away on December 17th. I went to a park one day in February 2020, two months after Aunt Doris passed away. As I was taking pictures of this squirrel, something felt weird to me. The squirrel was looking at me with a certain sparkle in their eye. It was the same sparkle I saw in Aunt Doris’s eyes that day she wore the cheetah print robe to the doctor’s appointment. I felt like my aunt knew I was still sad about her no longer being here, so she was reminding me to have fun and be silly, not to be sad and serious all of the time. In addition to the thousands of pictures and videos I have of Aunt Doris, I’m glad I can look at one of my nature pictures and be reminded of her bright aura.
· Have fun. Be silly. Laugh. Love.
How I Apply it to My Life:
· I love being goofy. I love having fun with my family.
· Brent Faiyaz – Gang Over Luv
· Brent Faiyaz – Burn One (Interlude)
· Miguel ft. J. Cole – Come Through & Chill
songs I played often on my iPod on the way to or from being with auntie
SLIDESHOW: Aunt Doris & I @ Hope Lodge trying on wigs with other women who were battling cancer and their caretakers.